tv PBS News Hour PBS February 24, 2012 5:30pm-6:30pm PST
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> woodruff: senior officials from more than 60 nations, including the united states, met today to demand an immediate cease fire in syria and that president assad step down. good evening, i'm judy woodruff. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. on the newshour tonight, we have the latest on the crisis and look at what the world, including the u.s. can and should do to stop the violence against civilians. >> woodruff: then, ray suarez has the story of a rutgers university student who stands accused of invasion of privacy
and bias intimidation by using a webcam to spy on his gay roommate. >> brown: mark shields and david brooks analyze the week's news. >> woodruff: and we close with a john merrow report on an innovative music program aimed at low income students in new york city. >> sometimes it's hard not to smile. when i just hit that first note t makes me smile. and sometimes i try to hide that smile but i can't because it's amazing. that's all ahead on tonight's "newshour." major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: and the william and flora hewlett foundation, working to solve social and environmental problems at home and around the world. and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting.
and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you.ç thank you. >> brown: the u.s. and dozens of other nations joined today in insisting that the syrian government stop killing its own people and surrender power. the friends of syria met in tunisia, and moved closer to recognizing the opposition syrian national council, but they did not commit to military intervention.ç meanwhile, heavy fighting continued in homs and other cities in syria. activists said at least 50 people were killed. we begin with a report from carl dinnen of "independent television news." >> reporter: the free syrian army has looked lightly armed, ble to carry its weapons on foot.
in rastan, an officer boasts that they have blown up one of assad's tanks. he directs his comments at syria's most powerful ally, vladimir putin's russia. putin and his weapons are now under my feet, look at how we managed to destroy this vehicle the diplomatic big guns were also trained on syria, taking aim from a summit in tunisia. the u.k. strengthened ties with the rebels. we in common with other nations will now treat them and recognize them as a legitimate representative of the syrian people. >> reporter: the e.u. agreed to freeze syrian assets, the saudis said not enough was being done and called for the rebels to be supplied with weapons. but none of that will quickly help the people who are stuck here. the u.n. says the syrians have been targeting children. this girl was hurt in an attack
near homs. >> ( translated ): i was with a boy and he was hit as well, in the thigh. he was bleeding badly. we had just been going to my grandfather to get some bread. >> reporter: militarily it is still president assad's regime which has the upper-hand. but they are hemorrhaging support. the opposition claimed there were 370 demonstrations across the country and more and more soldiers like these are defecting to the rebel cause. >> woodruff: u.s. secretary of state hillary clinton had strong words for syrian president assad and his regime and his supporters after today's summit in
tunesia. here is some of what she saidç. >> all of us gathered here today reached consensus. now that doesn't mean that every one of u don't have other ideas and other recommendations because we are all quite diverse from all over the world. but i want to stay focused on what we agreed on.ç we agreed on increasing the pressure on assad, getting humanitarian aid in as quickly as possible. and preparing for a democratic transition. i don't think anyone wants to see a bloody, protracted civil war. we what like to see the kind of transition to democracy and peace that happened here in tunesia. our goal is to bring as much pressure to bear as we can, not only on assad but on those around him. the entire world other than russia and china were willing to recognize that we must take international
action against the syrian regime. i would be willing to go back to the security council again and again and again. but we need to change the attitude of the russian and chinese governments. it's quite distressing to see two permanent members of the security council using their veto when people are being murdered, women, children, brave young men, houses are being destroyed. it is just dispicible. and i ask whose side are they on. they are clearly not on the side of the syrian people. >> and in washington this afternoon president obama said the u.s. and its ally was quote, look for every tool available to prevent the slaughter of innents. so what should be done. we ask anne-marie slaughter, she served as director of policy planning in the obama administration state department until last year, and is now a professor at
princeton university. richardhauses -- haass held the same position in the george w bush administration he is now president on the council of foreign relations and tom malinowski is the washington director for human rights watch. anne-marie slaughter, i will start with you, you think much more needs to be done. why and what is the essence of your plan? >> i think much more needs to be done, actually, to protect the syrian opposition, which started, of course, as peaceful protests for months and months. i recommend letting turkey, saudi arabia, jordan and qatar enable the free syrian army within syria to establish civilian protection zones as close to the borders as possible so that there can be humanitarian corridors. that means supplying the free syrian army with intelligence, communication systems, and enough wapons at least to be able to clear the zone.
>> brown: richard haass, you argued for more restraint. and today you heard the saudis calling for more. even hamas publicly turning against assad wa, do you think should be done? >> i would putç the emphasis on the syrian political opposition, on the so-called syrian national council. they have got to get out there and they have got to make it clear that they represent an alternative to this government, one that gives the minorities who are running the country a real safe place in the future of syria. esstially, sohat the people defending theç regime do not think they have to fight to the finish. that they understand they have a place in the future of syria, to put it bluntly that there is not going to be ethnic cleansing. that they are not going it face the fate in syria that the sunnies around saddal hussein openly faced in iraq. >> brown: but stop short of arming or giving more aid specifically to the opposition? >> look, as bad as this situation is, it could get a lot worse. 6,000 people have died over roughly the last 11 months.
things could escalate dramaticay. syia a coury with a real air force, over 500 combat aircraft, with a real army, over 300,000 active duty. another 100,000 paramilitary 300,000 more reservists. this is a country that could really go to war. if we're going to create zone, i understand the humanitarian thinking, but very quickly these zones could be challenged and then i believe we're going to be on the hook, we the outside world to do something to protect them. arming the opposition is a slow process. and it's also not a process that will give you a lot of control over what is done with those arms. >> brown:ll right, tom malinowski you told us earlier today your organization is still weighing pros and cons. no easy solutions here at all. >> incredibly painful, painful options. first let's start with what is happening in homs. this, for those of your viewers who remember the carnage in sar yeah of and bosnia, this is worse than grozny, the city in russias that what leveled by russian
forces in 1998 and 2000 this is going to continue regardless of whether a safe zone is cated on the turkish border. so i agree with richard that halfhearted slautions are not going to provide any relief to the people in the cities who are trying to defend their homes and who are being slaughtered as we speak. at the same time, the kind of military intervention that might provide short-term relief to them, a serious military intervention, would be fraught with uncertainties and david difficulties. one might, for example, be able to take out the artillery around hom. but then one with be faced with a protracted conflict. this would not go as easily as the libyan war did. and i don't think that any western country is really prepared to do that, especially absent a mandate from the u.s. security council. >> brown: so anne marie slaughter, what kind of
specific action do you think is possible. >> let me say a couple of things. first these are bad choice, it is a question between bad choices and worse choices. and we all agree that the worse choices are simply arming the opposition and provide og the wherewithal for aong an bloo civi war. so then the question is, given how hard this is, can you do anything to actually protect the syrian people. and remember, the freeç syrian army started for the purposes not of overturning assad's government but simply of protecting peaceful protestors. richard assumes that those 300 men-- 300,000 men in assad's army want to fight for him. i think the evidence is quite different. most of these areç sunni conscripping its, many of th are defecting already. i think if you can create zones close to borders that people can get to and get out of, you may well find that many soldiers are not actually willing to attack them. >> brown: richard haass?
go ahead. >> again, the best thing you can do is to convince those divisions which are controlled by the minority, both the leadership and the forces in them, you want to make them think twice about defending the regime and essentially fighting to the deaths of many syrians. the only way i can think of doing that is to have a political opposition that again makes clear that there is a place in ria r them even once the assad government goes. putting up, turning up economic pressure will help. some of the neighbors, including jord and-- jordan and others are to the doing all they can and should. and i also don't think one should give up on the russians, putin is playing a very dangerous game here. he is putting all of his eggs in assad's basket. if and when that basket goes and i think it is a question of when, the russian's position in syria will deteriorate dramaticallyment so i think there is an argument to be made for the russians that in the long run what they are doing is actually hurting their interests in syria. maybe that would have some effect. >> brown: tom malinowski, those are strong words from hillary clinton about russia
and china, dispicible is the word she used. what do you see happening in the administration right now, the kind of argument, with the discussion we're having here. >> i'm happy to see that kind of honest talk because it's absolutely true. this is not a time for diplomatic nice tees. i don't think that the russians are going to move in time to save the people of homs. if anything, i think they are probably advising assad to finish off his enemies so that this isn't a problem for them any more. so think they're hoping that russia is going to wisen up and recognize that it's on the losing side. i think that time has passed. >> brown: and anne-marie slaughter to put it in terms of the u.s. specifically, in your scenario, what role does the u.s. play? is it lead this effort or-- effort or gather other nations? what does it do? >> do, it doesn't lead this effort. this effort has to be lead by the arab league, and by turkey. and in that regard it's very important that saudi arabia
made clear that it wants to go considably further than the friends of syria went today. but they have to take the lead. the regional organization, the countries that are most affected by what is happening in syria have to actually decide among themselves what they are willing to do. tp]he united states, nato, all those other countries can then support them in any way necessary. and for the u.s. that probably means providing particular communications equipment, intelligence, for other countries that probably means special forces on the ground i justant to say that there is one place i very much agree with richard, which is that the only way to get a political solution is toç demonstrate that in a post-assad syria there is room for the minorities. and in the zones that i'm talking about, no one would be killed. >> brown: is there, richard haass, we have heard this analogy to libya. is there a lesson there where countries did come in
and use intervention and some force and get rid of the leader at that point? >> well, i think there are lessons but they are prably not t lessons you are going to want to hear. syria unlike libya has real national military strength. the population density is maybe 25 or 30 times greater than libya. what's also-- plus in libya we are seeing the difficulties now in the aftermath of having ousted qaddafi, again, that is why i come back to and i think there is agreement. that a long pro traekted kill war is not the answer. you want to think about establishing a political dynamic inside the country where the narrow band of the population that is supporting the regime begins to move away from it and i think you do that with political incentives and with ecomicressure. and don't get me wrong. the humanitarian stakes are great here. and so are the strategic stakesment way like to see nothing more than the assad government disappear and its principles backer, iran suffer a serious strategic defeat. so i think we're all agreed on where we want to get to.
it is really a question of the manies. and something that you heard before from anne-marie slaughter is spot on. there are no good options here. we've got limited influence. and the real question is what exactly do we do at this point. >> brown: okay, tom, final last word here. >> i think we can't be half in. l this talk about safe zones and humanitarian corridors. you cannot establish something like that in the face of this onslaught from the syrian army if you are not willing to put-- somebody has to be willing to put troops on the ground. and then are we really going to put troops on the ground to protect a safe area, to protect aide workers if two miles across the hills civilians are being slaughtered. and then you don't protect them. that's untenable. so the only two options here are either a long term diplomatic strategy to squeeze this regime economically and diplomatically which means sacrificing homs, or go all in and they are both difficult.ç >> brown: tom malinowski, richard haass and anne-marie slaughter, thank you all
three. >> woodruff: still to come on the newshour, the rutgers university web cam spy case, shields and brooks, and teaching music, changing lives. but first the other news of the day,ç here's hari sreenivasan. >> the backlash in afghanistan kept spreading today over the burning of korans to the u.s. military base. at least seven more people were killed making 20 since tuesday. today there were large demonstrations in kabul, lal all bad and khost, hundreds of protestors chatted allah is the greatest and death to america. meanwhile the isaf visited a forward operating base where two americans were killed yesterday by an afghan soldier. u.s. general john allen told them now is not the time for revenge. >> all the isaf country, all 50 of them, returned today to this spot. we offer you our condolences. we offer you our admiration as well. for how you've handled
yourselves today in a very tough situation. >> protests also spread to pakistan where thousands of people marched against the u.s. and nato, major rallies took place in lahore and karachi. for the first time pakistan appealed to the afghan taliban today to hold peace talks with the afghan government. pakistani prime minister yusuf raza gilani said his country was prepared to do whatever it takes to help the talks take place. afghanistan welcomed the move. the afghan government has long accused pakistan of using militant groups as proxies in afghanistan, something the pakistanies deny. the u.n. nuclear agency has concluded that iran has tripled its production of higher grade enriched uranium in recent months. that word came today in a confidential report obtained by several news organizations. it also noted that an amount of uranium sufficient for missile experiments is unaccounted for. the findings added to growing concerns about iran's nuclear weapons capabilities. iran maintains its program is not directed towards weapon but it has refused
access to key nuclear sites. tensions with iran kept pushing the price of oil higher today. in new york trading it gained another $2 to close near $110 a barrel. and on wall street the dow jones industrial average lost a point to close just below 12,983. the naz-- nasdaq rose 23 point, the dow and nass rose a fraction. those are some of the day's major stories. >> the criminal case linked to the suicide of a gay student got under way today, ray suarez has the story. >> suarez: this was the day for opening statements in the trial of dharun ravi. prosecutors went first in a courtroom in new brunswick, new jersey. >> this isn'tç about da run ravi having to like tyler clementi's sexual orientation, or having to like the nature of his private sexual activity. but it is about having the decency to respect it and to
respect tyler's dignity andç privacy. >> in the fall of 2010 ravi shared a freshman dorm room with tyler clementi who he knew to be gay. ravi allegedly used a web cam to spy on one of clementi's physical encounters. prosecutors say he also posted about it on twitter and invited others to watch via video chat. on september 22nd clementi killed himself by jumping off new york's george washington bridge. the suicide sent result gers-- rutgers into mourning and set off a national debate about homophobia and sign booling. >> the tools of the internet enabled this cruel or saddistic behavior to be amp find and publicized, not just on the campus but throughout the world. and that really contributed to the extreme emotional reaction that the student had an his impulsive decision to take his life. >> suarez: if you jersey governor christie called it an unspeakable tragedy. >> and those people who
helped to lead him to that bridge are going to have to bear that responsibility for the rest of their lives. >> suarez: ravi was not charged directly in clementi's death but is accused of invading privacy, tampering with evidence and st seriously, bias intimidation. a hate crime under state law. now though there are growing questions about the accuracy of initial reports on the case. they were crystallized in a new yorker article this month by ian parker. it became widely understood, parker wrote, that a closeted student at rutgers had committed suicide after video of him having sex with a man was secretly shot and posted on-line. in fact, there was no posting, no observed sex, and no closet. dharun ravi's defense attorney de many of the same points today as he challenged the prosecutors claim of malice and homophobia. >> i can't stand here and tell you dharun didn't act
like a boy or at times childish, and immature. just because we do something stupid, we make mistakes. especially when we're young. it doesn't mean we're hateful or we're bigoted. or we're criminal. >> suarez: the trial is expected to last about a month. if convicted on all counts, ravi could get at least ten years in prison. we take a closer look at the case now with geoff mulvihill of the associated press. he's been covering the story and was in court today. and emily bazelone, senior editor for the on-line magazine slate, she's also a research fellow at yale law school and isç currently working on a book about bullying called "sticks and stones" geoff mulvihill, let me start with you. today offered the first chance for both sides to define dharun ravi to the jury. tell us more about the different portraits of this young man that were offered in the opening statement. >> sure.
the prosecutors portrayed him as beingç mean-spirited and criminal, whereas his defense lawyer tried to build the case that maybe he was stupid in the way he acted but he was acting like an8-year-old, he kept referring to him as a boy during opening statementsment and he used some student witnesses to emphasize that ravi didn't have a problem with gays generally. >> suarez: to prove bias intimationone of the counts new jersey has brought against dharun ravi, do they not only have to prove that he bullied tyler clementi but did it because he was gay? >> that is right. that's what the standard of proof is for this crime. it seems like that's the big challenge. and that was really the issue that both sides were work on in court. was the prosecutors were doing all they could to show that he was anti-gay and defense lawyers are trying to get witnesses to say that he wasn't. >> suarez: this is a case that, of course, got not
only national but intense local attention. was the courtroom full today and who was there? students? family members of all the principals? >> the family members of both tyler clementi and dharun ravi were present it was a packed courtroom mostly, because of the media, however. >> suarez: and did anybody talk after today's court session broke up or is it still early days. >> it's still early on. both sides seem to be letting what happens in the courtroom do the talking for them. >> suarez: emily bazelone, let me turn to you. does ts case and the series of events that were described today by prosecution and defense illustrate the degree to which young people see no barriers in their lives between the public and the private and feel comfortable talking about both to people who they don't even know. >> it does illustrate that. it illustrates how
technology is changing the way college students and teenagers act. and can make them very disrespectful of each other's privacy in a way thacan then really turn around and boomer and and cause them a great deal of trouble. >> suarez: at the time that this story first broke there had been a spate of terrible stories involvingç what was alleged as cyberbullying and some early attempts to prosecute this. are states working with an old statute book, a statute book that hasn't really been updated for this new age? >> i think states increasingly are talking aboutç electronic harassment as something that courts and prosecutors can address. and then the question is to me sureo th responsibleably so that states don't overreach and start assuming that the harassment is causing in this case actually the assumption that it was causing a suicide which was very much present in the initial media reports. but which there really is no
evidence for. we've really just don't know why tyler clementi killed himself. >> suarez: is that going to likely be a big part of the defense's case, that it is hard to draw a line directly from what dharun ravi did to what tyler clementi did >> i thik at will come up in the kind of undercurrent. ravi isn't charged in tyler clementi's death. he is charged with invasion of privacy and bias intimidation which are different. and i think that was a wise choice that new jersey made in bringing the charges. and yet it's also clear that without the suicide, you know, that this case probably wouldn't have gotten so far. and that the level of interest in it certainly was generated by that. >> suarez: geoff mulvihill what reasons have dharun ravi defense attorneys given for not taking a plea deal that was offered by the prosecution, that involved community service, no jail time, and protection for ravi who is an indian citizen from deportation.
>> their answer was very simple. they said that he was innocent of the charges. he didn't commit any crimes. >> suarez: so what risk is he under now by going to a jury trial. >> he faces 15 different counts. the two most serious could get him ten years in prison. >> suarez: i understand you're standing in the rain. i will let yo get out of the rain, geoff mulvihill, thanks for joining us. emily bazelone, back to you. in all the talk about privacy, one person whose privacy so far has not been compromised but may yet be is the unidentified young man who was seen by dharun ravi in tyler clementi's room. he offers a very interesting case of what may end up being collateral damage, doesn't he? >> yes, i think that's exactly the right term for it he was not a rutgers student. and so his presence in the dorms tis sanger was part of what got dharun ravi
up set that evening that he turned his web cam on. rut this person who we know by the initials nb is not out and does not want to come forward publicly. and yet he was with tyler clementi, you know, in these moments where his privacy may have been violated. and so his testimony seems like it's pretty important in the case. >> suarez: the term bullying will be used a lot during the coming weeks. but is it one that can be in legal terms easily defined. orill weee in th way that the defense and case, that it's really inz the eyes of the beholder? >> i think that's often true. bullying is a word we throw around all the time. it means a lot of different things. and it's not a particularly good fit for what happened here. i mean this is really a set of circumstances that are about privacy and disrespecting someone's privacy on a college campus. and they raise questions about what expectations students should have when they are in their dorm rooms
and what kind of space they should give each over. >> srez: and very intimate circumstances for young people who in many cases are getting their first taste of life outside the family home. >> that's right. and one of the very sad things about this case is that these two young people don't seem to have really gotten to know each other. they both looked each other upjohn line before school started. and ravi discovered that tyler clementi was gay. and tyler clementi discovered that ravi was south asian. and then they got to school and they seemed to have really gone in different directions as opposed to reaching out to each other. >> suarez: emily bazzel-- bazelone of slate, thanks for joining us. >> thanks very much for having me. >> woodruff: and to the analysis of shields and brooks. that syndicated columnist mark shields and "new york times" columnist david brooks. welcome gentlemen. so let's start with syria. we did have a discussion a few minutes ago, jeff, with
three people. and you know, more than 100 people, david, killed today again in homs. 60 countries meeting to talk about what to do. where do we see this headed in terms of the role of the united states? >> well, i think there are two things that give us sign of where is headed. the first is the reaction of hillary clinton which we saw and talked about. the reaction was something i think we should be proud of. clearly a lot of passion, a lot of directness. i think that's the way our our secretary of state should behave. and second you get a sense, and it's sort of striking. we've been through afghanistan, we've been through iraq. it's a country fat agency, feeling under-- at home and yet in the case of libya and i think also now in the case of syria, there is a sense of responsibility, the sense that you just can't sit by. and this is part of the u.s., i think, eternal national character but part of the global nationalç character as these country does gather to figure out what to do. there is a much greater sense that we've a feeling of responsibility for the
internal atrocities committed in countries. so i think we're going to be headed in that direction. >> woodruff: mark, is this a tough one for the communitied-- united states. >> i think is and i want to ecowhat david said about secretary clinton. what we saw was unhe had remembers-- rehearsed. it was impassioned, itç w eloquent. it watt really, i thought, quite moving. it was-- we search for authenticity all the time in our politics and public life. and i thought we saw it there. and i'm not one to lionize or idollizes or idealizes fellow journalists. but for the courageous effort of so many there, as well as the technology, the citizens and what they have been able to accomplish. this is the world's con shuns, they made it totally uncomfortable not to do something. so i think there is a sense of fat ancy. that we demand and insist that it stop. that but at the same time what is the action statement
that we're willing to do. and i think that's the real dilemma. i mean what general dempsey, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff says doesn't know where the opposition is, who the opposition is within. so it is not simply doing something but what to do. and how to do it. >> suarez: . >> woodruff: a real sense of frustration. well, we have got a lot of politics to talk about too. so i am going to take the liberty of moving on. there is a debate after four weeks in the republican contest, david. where does that leave everything? >> well, it was our 20th and believe me there will never be another campaign with 20 debates. i think there is consensus with both parties it has been a bad thing for the republican party to have this many debates. this final debate judging from the polls it wasn't a complete game changer but there is no question rick santorum had a very bad week. he was on the defensive for various votes, various positions, various ndorsement, arlen specter, moderate republican or democrat.
and sow has been hurt. i have to say i have a lot of sympathy for him on this score. because he's a politician. he's doing the craft of politics. and that involves sometimes voting for bills that you don't particularly like but your party needs you. it means endorsing people you don't like but your party needs you. it means sometimes bringing home the bacon for your park and things like that. so he did what i think of as normal things that not only politicians but people in the arena do they make compromises. so he's being hit for it at the debate. i think is unfair. i think we ought to are realistic expectations of what our people in public life can do. you can be a pundit and say you should be pure but we shouldn't expect that. and so i guess i h/]t sympathy but it's no question been a bad week for him. >> woodruff: the crowd was pretty negative when he gave that sort of explanation about taking one for the team. >> are you right. and i think that romney did to the do as well as the crowd in the room, the best job romney did all night was stacking the room. it was totally partisan to governor romney. he basically cleared his
throat and they applauded. so but i agree with david the republicans ought to think about debates in these terms. there was not a singleç candidate in that stage the other night who was more impressive, more compelling, more commanding and more thoughtful than he was when this thing began. collectively there was no progress. you could watch both hillary clinton and barack obama in 2008 become better and more intelligent and more informed public figures and public leaders. and i just thought all of them really were sort of diminished by this process. rick santorum, every politician who runs for president yearns for that one moment, judy, when the microphone and the spotlight comes to him. and you want to be ready for it when it does. and for rick santorum it came after his three victories in colorado and minnesota, and missouri. and that was the moment for him to talk about his own
story, his grandfather, the mines, his own commitment to blue collar america. and he blew it. he went in a series of done-- . >> woodruff: you think was that bad. series of unforced errors talking about phoney theology. talking about peripheral social issues. not saying this is who i am, this is what i believe. but getting into discussions of contraception. i mean, abortion is a devicive issue in this country, contraception is not. and that isn't where he needed to be. so i just thought, in addition to that he fell into washington speak. with, we didn't have a quorum in the subcommittee to motion a table, take precedence over motion to recommit and you watch eyes glaze over when somebody does that. >> woodruff: you agree that isan tore up is having a really bad run right now. >> right. i do. and i guess for those reasons. he's always been a little didact particular on the stump but he believes that. he believes, he thinks thee logically. there are some odd things about santorum. he says that way.
>> he got in trouble for using that word. >> right, theologically. most of us when something bad happens we sort of squirt by it and want to think about positive things. santorum has always looked at the tragedy in the face and dwelt upon it that is sort of an unusual personality, but i think it is a personality, his most serious an most tragic for the death of his son gabriel. but also in the campaigns, he dwells on the criticisms, dwells on the negative, sometimes even in international affairs. and so there isç sort of a tragic sense and sometimes that is not great-- uplift so he didn't do uplift so well but the final thing i will say in just about the tennor of the debate as mark said, they are frot better than they were. and i think that's because it has become an identity marker. are you with the team. and you have to stakeout ctain pure positions to show that you are with the republican team. and do it's defeated thought. and encouraged just i'm totally pure. and we saw that with the immigration issue.
where they have to shall purer than pure now, whichç i'm not sure any of them actually believe that position but they think they have to be there just to show i'm one of you. >> woodruff: the question about romney, mark, he rolled out his corporate tax plan, reform plan this week. does that change the debate in any way? is that something that voters are going to be looking seriously at? >> maybe some voters will be, judy. i think we've seen this movie before. the rollout is always where you lower the rates and eliminate expenditures, broad enthe base. we never get quite to that second part it seems to be the functional equivalent to waste, fraud and abuse used to be in will baing the budget. we don't get into specifics. you know, and when the president didn't say we're going to put a cap on charitable contributions, for wealthy people, heaven and earth fell upon him. but at the same times that's the only way we're ever going to come to a debate about real tax reform.
just the little initiatives, crowd pleasers that he gave us. i didn't want to say one thing in defense of rick santorum. that was he admitted a mistake that he felt he made. and my goodness. >> woodruff: no child left behind. >> he said it was a mistake for him to cast that vote. it was an honest thing for him to say. and he paid an enormous price. not only in the room but he was attacked for it. and we've gone through a campaign now where nobody else on the stage has acknowledged a single mistake as we stare in the face of the incredible success of the bailout of the yoonteded states auto companies. and mitt romney has to prove that he's not a flip-flopper. so he consistently clings to that position. it's just, it's kind of bizarre. >> woodruff: i guess romney has not had an apology during this campaign. >> no and at first i don't think it was a mistake voting for no child left behind it is not perfect but i think moved us forward. second the romney thing, and this goes back to what i was saying earlier about the
deterioration of options. he wrote an op ed for my newspaper in 2008, i think, on how to deal with detroit. and it was quite a smart op ed it was about changing management, restructure some of the union things. and a lot of thing, not everything but a lot of the things were done by the obama administration. so it was sort of a nuanced thing. he was sort of against it but with helpful suggestions. >> woodruff: that was a headline. >> the headline wasn't-- my colleague, headline wasn't quite fair to the piece, maybe. >> it's let's go bankrupt. he made the distinction between bankruptcy and managed bankruptcy and -- >> in the campaign instead of saying i had a nuanc position, he now has to say i'm purely against it, so please, the pure position. and so he's, his strength which is a subtle appreciation of how to run an economy has been evaporated because he's got to be pure and simple and crude. and that sort of the deterioration of the whole thing. >> woodruff: and yet that auto bailout, you know, will have an effect on how people
vote in michigan.ç >> americans are pragmatic people. we are interested in results. and americans are have concluded that pew research did a survey on the gone from 3 to 2 thinking that the auto bailout was a mistake and were unhealthy for the nations economy. now to 3 to 2 thinking they are. twice as many republicans think today that it's worked, that it didn't. and the one flaw in mitt romney's argument inç 2008 was he wanted private funds to be available. the best of my knowledge, we were dipping deeply into taxpayers pockets in 2008 to provide the private funds that those banks didn't have. >> woodruff: so he, but in terms of the corporate tax, david, you didn't get a chance to weigh in on that. >> i actually think we're moving in the right direction. so both president obama has his corporate tax plan that he announced this week, timothy geithner did which is similar, lower the rates from 35 to 28 and close the loopholes. and then the romney plan which does a similar.
they are not complete plans but we're going to have to do tax reform probably in the early next year. and it they set us up for that. >> woodruff: finally before we go, point of personal privilege, we just want to take a moment to say that congratulations are in order. mark and david were awarded the first ever pize for civility in public life from allegheny college in western pennsylvania. as the college president james mullen said in giving you the award, quote t is the hope of today that through this award and our colleges focus on civility, we might empower young people across the nation that we might help them, help all of us find the faith and the courage to engage in the public arena with civility and respect. so to both of you, mark, congratulations, david, congratulations. >> well, thank you. >> woodruff: what does this mean to you. >> well, it get, it's lovely. it means most of all we're grateful to i think i speak for david to allegheny college and president mullern for their attempts to bring civility and to lower the toxicity level in
american public life and dialogue. but we are the beneficiaries of the standards laid down by robert and jim lehrer, we literally stand on the shoulders of giants. it was they who demanded and insisted upon a standard of civility in dialogue which permeates this whole show and has been the gold standard in my judgement. so i'm grateful but appreciative. we stand as proxies for them. >> woodruff: we stand on their shoulders as well. and they're watching now and we hope they are hearing this. >> yeah, i want to apologise for punching mark at the end of the-- unfortunately, i lost my temper and i be did -- no, i agree with mark. when you come on this show there are certain expectations and it is easy to fall into the expectations of civility and intelligence and so it's just a pleasure to be part of the show. >> woodruff: and maybe you'll never come to blows on the newshourment can we count on that not happening. >> keep that in the corridor. >> he pushes that corporate tax thingç,-- . >> woodruff: mark shield,
david brooks, thank you both. >> brown: and finally tonight, an arts program that is changing lives in the nation's public schools. more than 50 schools have adopted a music education curriculum based on a system developed in venezuela. the newshour special correspondent for education john merrow reports on the city.ny program in new york4z here in new york city, it's not hard to find an elegant black tie fund-raiser where guests pay a thousand dollars or more to enjoy a live orchestra. sip champagne, and hobnob with celebrities like placido domingo. affairs like this happen almost every night. what is really special about
this evening is what is going to happen about an hour from now, fourth and fifth graders from low low income public schools in new york city will be performing, conducted by the great placido domingo. for these 35 kids, this will be a night to remember. for some the journey began here at public school 129 in harlem. >> you got this sound. >> yes. >> you can please see and then play a d. >> again, can we help her. what can we do to help. >> reporter: this two hour trumpet class is part of a music program called harmony that serves 80 mostly low income children in new york city. it provides free instruments and daily music lessons for children in third through sixth grade. any student who is able to attend the after-school program may apply. most who apply are accepted.
harmony is an independent organization funded mainly by private donations. it was started in 2008 by ann fitzgibbon. >> we're trying so hard to serve the children who were least served in the city. children who would not otherwise have the chance to discover something positive in their lives. and to discover the positive things about themselves through music. reasons the students at p s1 52 in brooklyn are doing the same thing. for many like julian des homest it's the highlight of the day. >> sometimes it's hard not to smile. like every time when i finish school and i come in toç harmony, and i just play that first note, it makes me smile. and sometimes i try to hide that smile but i can't because it's amazing. >> reporter: it's a big commitment, a two-hourç music
class every day plus practice on nights and weekends. at least 500 hours of practice during the school year alone. the 300 hours of group instruction that julian is getting for free would ordinarily cost thousands of dollars. >> i don't think i would have been able to afford this, he's getting free violin lessons for three years. and he's playing excellent. every child should have this opportunity. >> reporter: one of the goals of the program is tone courage students to become self-motivated. >> she practices on other hen, she come home and play, we learned this note we could:do this, we cano that it's amazing. >> i still need help with this part. it's kind of hard. these on the g scale. >> i can't imagine my life without music.
especially on my violin. me and my violin is like best friends. >> reporter: most of the children in the program live in challenging neighborhoods. some have stressful home lives. harmony provides a safe and supportive environment to develop their talents. christian alonzo is one of harmony's 22 music teachers. >> in orchestra you listen to not only yourself but you listen to the person next to you. so you are sharing your sound. you need to realize that you're playing with other people. you're making music as a whole. and you're not just playing for yourself, okay. >> one, two, three. >> jul desbordes a professional musician has
been with harmony for two years. >> we use music as a tool to teach them how to listen to each other. we have the sense they belong to something. and i believe that at any age it's very important. and it makes you feel good to go through life when you feel you belong to something. >> also's go jordan, you can do this. >> jordan clark-platt one of julyie's students has struggled academically. >> i think theç playing of the instrument has given him more self-confidence in terms of reading. well, if i can read musical notes and symbols, words shouldn't be that bad. rted juddist-- judith sturg is is jordan reading teacher. >> she is blossoming and i think the muss eckç program is part of it. >> reporter: students in the harmony program are more
likely to attend school regularly and tend to do well. i met up with the kids during a rehearsal. >> raise your hand if are you good in school. oh come on. if i looked at your report cards what would it is a. >> nass the kids are getting top scores does not surprise placido domingo. >> music is mathematics. everything that goes into numbers. four, eight, 16, 32 and 64. depending on the speed of the notes. but once you are playing, once you are singing, that disappear. the mathematics is tough. and it comes all the feeling. harmony is modelled on a highly successful music education program in venezuela. it's called el sistema and it's helped hundreds of thousands of the countries neediest children. for 36 years el sistema has
inspired children to stay in school by giving them free instruments and three to four hours of music instruction every day. >> this education, it has been just not only good for music but good for society. and good for all these kids, and they will never dream to be musicians that they are. >> with funding provided by the government, el sistema helps to support the country's 130 children's orchestras and 288 youth orchestras. gustavo dudamel one of the more celebrated graduates of el sistema is now the conductor of the los angeles fill mar-- philharmonic. the program has produced scores of accomplished musicians, but that's not the primary goal. >> in venezuela they will refer to their program not as a music program, not as a
cultural program but as a social program. because first and foremost that program is about developing the child. it's first about the child. it's second about the music. >> fitzgibbon would like to reach more children with harmony but across the country funding for music and arts programs is tight. >> everyone is so focused on the tests, the reading, the math, that i think somewhere along the line we think well, you know what, they don't really need art. they don't really need music.ç what i want people to understand is that music is so much more profound than just standing on the stage and blowing air through a horn. it's about learning to commit yourself to something. and learning that if you invest your time and your efforts in something, it is worthwhile. that something really positive will come out on the other end.ç >> hi, everybody. >> tonight the harmony students are learning just how far music can take them as they meet their conductor plasityo domingo. >> mi so proud of and happy to be with you today.
and what is one of the most beautiful things that we have in common, of course s music. and how lucky, how lucky you are. >> they are just wonderful kids. and i would like to hear them play, you know. and it will be, i know, at what level they might be, but you might be very surprised, you know. >> i think they have a beautiful influence with music. >> (cheers and applause)
>> the event raised $160,000 for harmony, about a quarter of its annual budget. but for these young musicians, the highlight of the evening was their turn in the spotlight. a rich reward for years of practice. >> woodruff: the venezuela program el sistema has come under skrult knee recently because of increased governmental control. we have more on our web site on the debate when politics intersect art. you can also find links there to several related learning matter stories including a pod cast of john's interview with placido domingo. >> and again the major developments of the day, senior officials from more than 60 nations including the united states met in tunesia to demand an immediate cease-fire in syria and that president a sad step down.
and violent protests erupted again in afghanistan over the burning of korans at a u.s. military base. at least seven more people were killed. and to harry sreenivasan for what's on the newshour on-line, hari? have more from mark and david on the doubleheader. also on the rundown, ray files a post on whether getting yen line should be considered a new human right. on art beat jeff spoke with genius grant winner jason moran who was named artistic advisor for jazz at the kennedy center for performing arts in washington. and tonight's addition of the pbs program me to know looks at how life has changed in egypt a year after hosni mubarak was swept from power. find a link to their coverage on our @me page. all that and more is on our web site, newshour.pbs.org. judy. >> woodruff: and that's the newshour for tonight. on monday we'll look at presidential politics in russia. and here in the u.s., as republicans get set to vote in the michigan and arizona primaries. i'm judy woodruff. >> and i'm jeffrey brown. washington week can be seen
later this evening on most pbs stations. we'll see you on-line and again here monday evening. have a nice weekend. thank you. good night. >> major funding for major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us. >>and the bill d melinda gates foundation. dedicated to the idea that all people deserve the chance to live a healthy productive life. and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations.